Emo Philips: ” I was walking home one night and a guy hammering on a roof called me a paranoid little weirdo. In morse code. “

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David Sciarra, Executive Director of Education Law Center, claims that NJ’s Schools Development Authority, responsible for school building construction, has “not started or completed one single school project,” including “replacing boilers, roofs.” Politifact rates his statement “False” because “[h]undreds of emergency repairs proposed by school officials have not been approved yet, but the authority has substantially completed other projects during the past two years, including work in Newark and Camden.”

Now Gordon MacInnes , former Asst. Commission for the NJ DOE in charge of Abbott Implementation, has a screed in NJ Spotlight in which he accuses the State Legislature of colluding with George Norcross to “sneak” the Urban Hope Act through earlier this month. According to Mr. Macinnes, Norcross “worked a stealth deal with the Corzine administration” to create Cooper University Hospital in Camden. The Urban Hope Act, which allows non-profits to build up to 12 schools in Camden, Newark, and Trenton, is another piece of the conspiracy. Camden’s school buildings are falling apart and now new ones can be built, which would help the city and, presumably, increase business at the hospital.

The point seems to be that SDA is flush with cash and perfectly capable of building schools. It has $2 million of bonding capacity, writes MacInnes, and “[m]oreover, SDA projects $250 million more for salaries and such over the next five years!” So SDA is part of the conspiracy too — it could build away if it wanted to but it’s under the thumb, one presumes, of Norcross and those evil legislators who voted for the Urban Hope Act.

In other words, the Urban Hope Act is a scheme to allow those evil non-profits to conspire with Norcross to thwart the activity of SDA, which would have to be a willing participant in this conspiracy. MacInnes: “My guess is that George Norcross invented Urban Hope, worked it out with the governor and legislative leadership, and sprang it on the world in December to transform Cooper’s shabby neighboring school with a gleaming new facility. Another guess is that some experienced educational nonprofit is standing by ready to pounce as soon as applications are available.”

As far as the educational prospects for kids in Camden, sometimes a little conspiracy is a good thing.

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